As a beagle owner, you already know how much joy these pint-sized hounds can be. From their hilarious bay to their never-ending clowning, this popular breed continuous to win hearts across the world.
But this popularity has come at a price.
A number of debilitating health problems are common to the breed, many of them made worse by excess weight gain. To keep your beagle happy and healthy for the long term, it’s important that you feed quality, nutritious food like those found on our list of the best dog foods for beagles.
Beagles and Weight Gain
Despite their tiny size, beagles are true hounds. And like all hounds, your nosey-pup probably has a knack for sniffing out food.
This voracious appetite is a known breed trait that can lead to excess weight gain. To make matters worse, a 2010 study of beagle diet and weight found that beagles who become overweight once are able to gain weight faster and on fewer calories if their diets are left unchecked in the future.
The best way to keep your beagle healthy for the long-term is to assure they maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives.
Wondering if your beagle could stand to lose a few? Check out this video to find out how to determine your dog’s body condition.
How to Choose the Right Dog Food for Your Beagle
While beagles may seem like a small breed dog compared to their larger hound cousins, their weight actually qualifies them as a medium breed dog according to petmd.com. Even if your beagle is petite, they still have a metabolism more similar to other medium breeds than to a small breed dog.
For this reason, when you are looking for a food for your beagle, you want to find one marketed to medium sized dogs or an “all-breed” diet.
Because beagles tend to be high energy but prone to weight gain, most beagles do best on a high protein diet that supports high activity, with a lower fat content to avoid excess weight gain. Beaglesunlimited.com recommends adult beagles eat a diet with a minimum of 20% protein and less than 5% crude fiber.
Reviews of The Best Dog Foods for Beagles
#1. Crave Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food With Protein
Crave’s grain free adult line is a great option for any beagle owner. This line of dog food comes in four protein-packed flavors that will be sure to have your beagle drooling.
We chose this food as the best dog food for beagles overall because of its impressive protein content at 34% and its high-quality ingredients.
This food comes in four flavors: beef, chicken, lamb and venison, and salmon and ocean fish. In all four formula’s the named protein is the first ingredient followed by chicken meal.
Each recipe also contains additional protein meals like lamb and fish. So whichever flavor you choose (or why not rotate them all?), you know your beagle is getting high-quality animal-sourced protein.
Because this food is grain free, it makes a great choice for more sensitive beagles. Do be aware that all formulas contain chicken and multiple types of animal protein so this food may not be appropriate for dogs with some protein sensitivities. To choose the best sensitive stomach food for your dog, you can check out this guide.
While this food contains well below the maximum of 5% crude fiber, it does contain a high 17% fat. For that reason, this food is best for beagles who are young or active.
This is an especially great choice if your beagle competes in scent work or other field trials.
Even after considering all those quality ingredients and the high protein levels, the best thing about this food may be the price. Crave is just under midrange on the price scale and a bargain considering the ingredients your getting.
#2. Solid Gold – Fit & Fabulous – Grain-Free Natural Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean – Holistic Weight Control Dry Dog Food
Coming in second on our list is a food made for the less-than-active beagle companion. Solid Gold’s fit and fabulous formula is packed with quality ingredients while remaining low calorie, making it perfect if your beagle needs to watch their figure.
Some beagles, especially those that are older or don’t get as much exercise as they need, are prone to weight gain. At only 370kcals per cup, this food is a great choice if your beagle fits that description.
And because beagles are prone to chronic weight gain once they’re allowed to put on the first few extra pounds, we highly recommend making this food your go-to if your beagle has ever struggled to lose weight.
Like all Solid Gold products, this food is made with quality ingredients including chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. This is also a grain free food making it a great choice if your couch-potato-pup is also sensitive to things like corn and rice.
This food still contains a respectable amount of protein at 26% and reduced fat content between 6% and 9%. Because it is a diet food, it does contain a higher percentage of fiber than normal foods, so be aware if your beagle is sensitive to high-fiber foods.
This food is moderately priced and also available in Alaskan pollock flavor for those sensitive to chicken protein. But be aware, this flavor does still contain chicken fat.
#3. Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Puppy Chicken & Salmon
Our third choice on the list of best dog foods for beagles was selected especially for those younger members of your pack. Wellness’s complete puppy formula is the best dog food for beagle puppies on our list.
This high-quality food packs a mean punch of protein and fat to help medium-sized breed puppies like beagles grow into healthy, fit adults. At 32% protein and 18% fat, this food might be too rich for most adult beagles, but it is exactly what the high metabolism of a beagle puppy needs.
The first two ingredients in this formula are chicken and chicken meal with salmon meal also included, which adds a healthy dose of animal-sourced protein to the overall amount. And, like our first two choices, this formula is also grain free.
This is a natural food made in the USA, giving you peace of mind as a new beagle owner.
This food is moderately priced but well-worth the ingredient quality, especially for a growing puppy.
#4. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food – Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula
We picked our fourth choice food with those sensitive beagles in mind. Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredient chicken and sweet potato diet is perfect if your beagle struggles with food sensitivities.
This diet is limited to only seven whole food ingredients with added vitamins and minerals, making it the best dog food for beagles with allergies.
In addition to chicken and salmon oil, this food contains a handful of low-allergy plant foods like potatoes and legumes. There are no grains, fillers, or other common allergens to upset your dog’s stomach or send them scratching up a storm.
Unlike Natural Balance’s other limited ingredients flavors, the chicken and sweet potato flavor includes animal-sourced proteins as the first two ingredients. This is important in helping your carnivorous beagle stay lean and healthy.
This food contains 21% protein and 10% fat and actually contains about as many kcalories per cup as our healthy weight choice at number two. If your beagle needs help staying lean and struggles with food sensitivities, this is the perfect food for you!
Like the other foods on our list so far, this product is moderately priced and not a bad deal at all if you are struggling to find a quality food for your sensitive beagle.
#5. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food For Adults And All Life Stages Lamb Meat & Rice
We included Diamond Naturals all life stages diet on our list for its quality ingredients at a bargain price. This is a great dog food if you are looking for a healthy food for your beagle but have a small budget.
Like all the foods on our list, this diet includes a quality animal protein as the first ingredient, in this case, lamb meal. Unlike the other foods, however, this formula is not grain free and does contain rice and barley.
This diet does contain higher protein at 23% than our number four choice and higher fat, making it more suitable for active beagles.
This food also contains added probiotics to help your dog utilize more of the plant-based ingredients used in this food.
While this food might not pack as much animal-sourced protein as our number one pick, it does ring up at about half the price. Since this food contains pasture-raised lamb, no corn, fillers or by-products, we’d still consider it an excellent choice to keep your beagle happy and healthy throughout their lives.
What is the Best Dog Food for Beagles?
With an almost endless supply of dog foods marketed to medium-sized breeds like beagles, we had a lot of great foods to dig through when making our choices. But in the end Crave’s Grain Free Adult Dry stood out as one of the best dog foods for beagles.
This food far exceeds our minimum of 20% protein and does so using quality animal-sourced ingredients. It also contains a low amount of fiber and a moderately high level of fat, making it perfect for those high energy beagles who easily burn through calories baying and sniffing their way through the world.
Best of all, Crave’s grain free adult food is moderately priced and budget friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
All puppies require a more calorie dense food than adults and do best on a dog food made specifically for puppies. Look for one with around 30% protein and at least 15% fat to help your beagle grow strong and healthy.
Or you can click here for more information about the best puppy foods on the market.
Small breed dog foods are typically made for breeds less than 20 pounds at maturity. These dog breeds tend to have high metabolisms and require more calorie-dense food than the average beagle.
To learn more about small breed diets and to find out if one is right for your beagle, check out our list of the best dog foods for small dogs.
Summed Up: The Best Dog Food For Beagles
|Crave Grain Free Adult||Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous||Wellness Complete Grain Free Puppy||Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Chicken||Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Adult|
|Features for Beagles||High animal-sourced protein, grain free.||Low calorie for weight maintenance, quality ingredients||High protein, quality ingredients for healthy puppy growth||Limited ingredients for sensitive systems or beagles with allergies||Affordable food with quality animal ingredients|
- D. Nagaoka, et al. “Re‐induction of obese body weight occurs more rapidly and at lower caloric intake in beagles” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 5 May 2010.
- Katherine Ripley. “10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Beagle.” akc.org, 8 June 2016.